Geocache

Three Cool And Crazy Travelbugs

Just over a week ago, I grabbed my first travelbug. I’ve noticed, at least in my area, that geocoins and travel bugs often go missing and are unreported through the proper channels. Sometimes a geocacher will post in the geocache logs that they found travelbug XYZ, but fail to log it in the trackables section. As a result, I search for a geocache, find one that reports a trackable and eagerly locate it only to find out that someone else took it before I got there and didn’t report it.

I think the trick is to make the travelbug either so incredibly cool that people want to log it, or make it so crazy difficult that it’s a bragging right to log it. So I took the liberty to locate three eccentric travelbugs to share with you (click on the travelbug names to jump to their Geocache profile):

Uncle Elwyn

Image Credit: QueenZelda & Cub Boy

This travel bug is a small mason jar, filled with a portion of my Uncle Elwyn’s remains. He passed away recently and asked that his remains be spread in the wilderness. This seemed a fitting way to do just that. (To ensure there are enough ashes to make it to every state, please use the spoon provided.)

Uncle Elwyn was always an adventurer, proud that he had hiked all 50 states. He loved to hike, camp and fish – plus he was quite the musician. Unfortunately Geocaching came along too late for Uncle Elwyn. He was about 45, well maybe 55, 60. I’m not sure. (Once he mixed me a drink, I was about 5 years old – it was Kool-Aid and pop, I thought that was cold. Cold meaning good, cold’s supposed to be bad … ah nevermind.)

As far as regulations in regards to scattering ashes, here is some information from funeralplan.com: “Most laws surrounding funeral service are based on public health. Once a body has been cremated, there are no public health concerns. Therefore, there are no requirements (or laws) with regards to handling cremated remains.”

But if you decode the dedication, it’ll be revealed to you the real nature of the mysterious powder (and I’m not talking about alien space dust… we’ll get to that travelbug later).


Travelbug Joe

Image Credit: NetVerkin

Joe, the quote bug, likes quotes. All kinds kind of quotes…from famous people, celebrities, friends, relatives, yourself, movie quotes, song quotes, etc. They can be funny, profound, weird, whatever. Joe just likes quotes and would like to collect them in the little book he carries around with him.
Joe’s up for traveling anywhere and everywhere to find good quotes. Can you help him?

If you find Joe during your caching adventures, please help put a smile on his face by adding a quote to his quote book. You could even add it to his online log for more people to enjoy!

Also, feel free to include a date, city/state/country, etc. to your quote entry.

Egnix dropped this travelbug with a unique purpose in August 2002. He tells us about the journey that brought it back around to his possession in a forum post: “Over the years I got to read about its travels around the country. I met people and received emails from people saying how much the liked Joe. I even heard Joe inspired a least a couple cachers to send out similar travel bug books. … 8 years, 18,160.2 miles, 16 states, 49+ caches, and 60+ cachers later, Joe’s book is almost completely full of quotes and writings from people all over the country.”


International Space Station Travel Bug

Image Credit: LordBritish

The International Space Station Geocache is literally “out of this world.” It orbits the earth at 17000 MPH at an altitude of 250 miles.

This listing was published with permission from Groundspeak.

I traveled to the ISS on October 12, 2008 becoming the first second generation astronaut. While there I created this geocache aboard the Russian Segment of the ISS. The cache itself is locker #218 as shown in the provided photograph. There is no logbook in this cache, out of respect for the Russian segment of the ISS, and the fact that it would be a fire hazard to include one in this locker. You will find, however, that I attached a Travel Bug to the locker. I am hopeful that any future geocaching astronauts will start my Travel Bug on its way home, and leave one of their own in its place to start a similar journey.

The International Space Station orbits about 250 miles above the earth and travels about 17000 miles per hour, completing an orbit of the earth every 90 minutes.

Today only the American Space Shuttle and Russian Soyuz vehicles can reach the ISS. This will be changing soon, not only is the shuttle retiring soon, but there is a fleet of private space vehicles coming soon, which will allow greater access to space and hopefully ultimately the space station. Thus, while today only about 500 people have made this journey, and I am sure I am not the only geocacher among them… many more will be reaching space soon, and I am hopeful to see many visitors in time.

– Richard Garriott


By the time anyone finds this bug, it will have traveled around the earth a great many times!

Please take this bug to the NASA NEEMO Undersea Lab. Once it has been there, it needs to return home to me in Texas.

In case Richard Garriott needs an introduction, he’s also known as Lord British, the founder of the former game giant Origin Systems, and creator of the Ultima game series that graced so many software shelves from the ’80s to the early 90’s.

This travelbug and the geocache that contains it is obviously of a high profile and has been blogged about a few times:

Latitude 47 : Travel Bug with 311 Million Miles might Return to Earth
Highest placed travel bug returning to earth

I’m still trying to find Michael Reed Barratt’s geocaching profile to see if he has anything to say about the cache. Until then, if I happen to bump into him on my tesseract tardis time and space traveling borg cube, I’ll let you know what he has to say.